Well folks, it’s about time I covered a bit about (drum roll please) LED ZEPPELIN!! Led Zeppelin is one of my favorite bands, for obvious reasons. Their combination of blues and rock and roll was unheard of and unparalleled in their time. They do a lot of covers too, such as In My Time Of Dying, but they play the songs better than the original band does haha.
Led Zeppelin was formed primarily out of The Yardbirds. [Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck all came from The Yardbirds.] They got their name when Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who, said that the band would crash faster than a Led Zeppelin. Without Led Zeppelin there would be no Black Sabbath, Rush, or even Deep Purple, so no, I’m not kidding when I say they changed rock and roll forever.
Jimmy Page: Guitar
Robert Plant: Vocals
John Henry Bonham: Drums
John Paul Jones: Bass
Jimmy Page redefined how the guitar is played. His fast paced blues playing set the standard for rock and roll for many generations of players and still does to this day. He started out as a studio guitarist where he played with a number of bands and ironically he also was the guitarist on The Who’s first album. When he started Led Zeppelin he was able to really branch out to all of the corners of the musical spectrum that he needed to create his music. He is also one of the more enigmatic members of the rock community. There have been a lot of rumors about Page most having to do with the dark arts and Alester Crowley. He purchased a number of “evil” properties, including one of Crowley’s mansions. He also found the symbols that represent each of the band members such as Zoso. I’ve also heard some other stories about Page that I’d just rather not go into…
Robert Plant was going to college to become an accountant when he left to peruse his musical career. He had been influenced by the blues his entire life and when he met Page, they just seemed to click. Plant was in a bunch of bands before Led Zeppelin where he met John Bonham and formed the Band of Joy. Like the rest of the band, he likes to keep to himself.
John Bonham is my favorite drummer. If I could jam with anyone it would probably be John Bonham. His snare to floor tom rolls was one of the first things that caught my attention. If you need a drummer who can play in weird timings easily, play a variety of styles, play a drum solo with his hands, and who can transition without thinking about it, he’s your guy. He used the heaviest and longest drumsticks available at the time and you can tell in songs like When the Levee Breaks and the Ocean. His drum solo, Moby Dick, is one of the most intense and complicated solos I’ve ever listened to. You can watch him play it on Youtube I’m sure, or you can go and get The Song Remains The Same, which is the Led Zeppelin movie. I wish I knew more about drumming so I could go on for longer, but alas. John Bonham died at age 32 from alcohol poisoning. The band broke up shortly after.
John Paul Jones is a fantastic bassist. He also plays the keyboards, mandolin, and banjo (I think?) in many of their songs. Led Zeppelin simply would not be Led Zeppelin without Jones. He’s normally stage right kind of in the back. I’ve heard multiple reasons for why he stood farther back such as, he needed to be closer to Bonham for transitions, he didn’t like being in the spotlight, or he needed to be by all the other instruments, but ultimately I’m not really sure why. I feel like he is one of the more underrated members of the band, but he really shouldn’t be. As I said, the band would not be Led Zeppelin without him. He has influenced other greats such as Steve Harris of Iron Maiden and Geddy Lee of Rush. All in all, John Paul Jones is one of the most well rounded musicians to ever play in rock and roll.
Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin IV
Houses of the Holy
In Through the Out Door
Led Zeppelin is mostly covers, but damn do they do a good job covering those songs. It has a lot of their hits like, Dazed and Confused, Communication Breakdown, and Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.
Led Zeppelin II was pretty much recorded while they were on the road. It includes such favorites as Whole Lotta Love, The Lemon Song, Heartbreaker, and Ramble on. Pretty much every song on this album is just fantastic.
Led Zeppelin III really shows how much the band can branch out. Its got a lot of folk influences and it’s really cool how the band fuses the folk with their traditional blues/rock style. There are two covers for this album, one with a wheel that spins on the top sleeve revealing different pictures and the other which is black and shows each members’ symbol. (Zoso, feather etc.) This album includes some of my favorite Zeppelin songs such as Immigrant Song, Celebration day, Gallows Pole, and Since I’ve Been Loving You. Fun fact: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant went to a cabin in the woods and wrote the song. This album also has one of their most underrated songs Hats Off to Roy Harper.
Led Zeppelin IV is one of my favorite albums of all time. It has Stairway to Heaven, which is just a phenomenal song (I know it’s their most popular song, but it is for a good reason.) There is a lot more than meets the eye on the album cover. Unfortunately, you need the actual album to really get the feel for it, but do not fear! I have it. Songs you should give a good listen to include, Stairway to Heaven, Black Dog, Rock and Roll, The Battle of Evermore, Four Sticks, Misty Mountain Hop, When the Levee Breaks, and Going to California. Wait… Did I just list the entire album? Yes I did. Go and listen to it.
Houses of the Holy is another great album. The Rain Song is a really nice song to listen to if you’re trying to chill out, so is No Quarter. I guarantee that you have heard No Quarter before. This album also shows Page’s affection for the acoustic guitar, especially in Over the Hills and Far Away. It also has Dancing Days, The Song Remains the Same, and The Crunge.
Physical Graffiti IS my favorite Zeppelin album. It’s got two albums on it, the first with six songs and the second with nine songs. It also has my favorite Zeppelin song In My Time of Dying on it. In The Light is a really great song along with Down by the Seaside, Ten Years Gone, The Wanton Song, The Rover, Trampled Under Foot, and Kashmir.
Presence is a great album too. It was recorded in Germany during a rough time for the band. Jimmy Page was getting into the throws of heroin and Robert Plant was recovering from a pretty bad car accident. Fun fact: While Plant was in the hospital from the accident there was a soldier laying next to him who started singing The Ocean. The black obelisk on the cover is referred to as “the object” and it represents the presence of Led Zeppelin. This album has Royal Orleans (a song mostly about a hotel fire and a transvestite), Achilles Last Stand, For Your Life, and one of my favorites Tea For One.
In Through The Out Door is a really Jones and Bonham heavy album because Page was really into heroin by this time. This was also the last album they released before John Bonham died. This album has songs; In The Evening, Carouselambra, All My Love and I’m Gonna Crawl.
Coda is the final studio album that Led Zeppelin released. It was named coda after the musical term. It was released two years after Bonham died and is comprised of outtakes from previous albums. This album has Ozone Baby, I Can’t Quit You Baby, We’re Gonna Groove.
Led Zeppelin was probably the most successful rock band that has ever existed. Through all the good times and bad times the members of Led Zeppelin have definitely kept rambling on.
If I left anything interesting out please feel free to comment! Also, has anyone seen the bridge??